Most 8-year-olds look forward to a birthday party with cake and ice cream. Victor “Beau” Tracy Shell, however, had bigger things on his mind approaching his eighth birthday. He shocked his parents by asking for an ice cream cart so that he could buy his own toys, help his family and also have access to his favorite food group — ice cream. It took some persistence but Beau’s parents gave in and on his birthday, gifted him the cart. Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, LLC was birthed that day and has grown tremendously. This past summer, Beau opened his first brick-and-mortar location, in Athens, Ga.
Beau’s parents helped him obtain a business license and vendor’s permit. They set him up with a customized ice cream cart that had a freezer and welded frame, on some old bicycle tires. That first summer he worked just three events. Beau’s father built him a customized trailer so he could take his cart anywhere, the next summer. With the new trailer, Beau was able to work nearly 30 events. Beau quickly outgrew his new trailer, so he asked his parents for an old trailer that was sitting in the yard. They agreed but told him that he’d need to raise the money to customize it on his own. Beau launched a crowdfunding campaign that helped him raise $3,000. Very soon, he not only had that trailer but was able to buy two additional carts. Those carts allowed Beau to become the youngest licensed vendor to ever work in Sanford Stadium, during a UGA football game.
Beau took another bold step on November 25 of 2017. That’s when Beau officially launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign towards opening his own ice cream shop. In just over a month, Beau exceeded his $20,000 campaign goal by $1,100. On June 9th of 2019, Beau’s 15th birthday, he opened Lil’ Ice Cream Dude’s Cool World. Beau has been recognized by Zagat as one of Atlanta’s Top 30 Under 30 and has been named an honorary member of the International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors, for many years. In addition, he is the youngest person ever to become a member of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. Beau is still a kid but this young man is definitely not playing.
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